N Korea fires ‘unidentified projectile,’ Korean military official says

10-May-2019 Intellasia | NBCNews | 6:00 AM Print This Post

For the second time in a week, North Korea has launched an “unidentified projectile,” a South Korean military official said.

The projectile was fired east “from Sinori area located in Northern Pyongan Province” about 4:30 p.m. local time Thursday (3:30 a.m. ET), the South Korean military official said.

Last week, North Korea launched what were described as several short-range projectiles. A South Korean military official has said that the launch was thought to involve multiple rocket launchers, including “new tactical guidance weapons.”

North Korean state media KCNA said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed that launch. KCNA claimed the launch was a drill “to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons.”

 (Wall Street Journal)

(Wall Street Journal)

Experts who analysed photos from the North Korean state media say it’s clear the county tested a new solid-fuel missile that appears to be modelled after Russia’s Iskander short-range ballistic missile system, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

A spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry was quoted by KCNA as saying on Wednesday that last week’s launch was self-defensive military drill, and the official criticised it being branded as provocative.

But many viewed viewed it as a sign of Pyongyang’s growing frustration at stalled diplomatic talks with Washington over its nuclear arsenal.

President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un abruptly ended a summit earlier this year after they were unable to negotiate a denuclearisation deal.

At that time, Trump indicated the talks fell apart over Kim’s demand that all sanctions be lifted in exchange for concessions on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme. The US has indicated that the sanctions will stay in place until North Korea makes more significant moves.

There have since been no publicly known high-level contacts between the US and North Korea, although both sides say they are still open to a third summit.

After Saturday’s launch, Trump tweeted his optimism that a “deal” would still happen.

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realises the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it,” Trump said in the May 4 tweet.

North Korea has conducted six suspected nuclear tests, most recently in September 2017.

In November 2017, North Korea launched a missile that Western officials said appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In April 2018, Kim Jong Un announced the country has suspended further nuclear tests, claiming further they were unnecessary.




Category: Korea

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